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TODAY   |  June 11, 2013

Bill O’Reilly: Let jury decide if Snowden is a criminal

The Fox News host and author talks about the leaking of secret documents on the NSA’s phone surveillance program and whether the leaker, Edward Snowden, deserves to be protected as a whistleblower or prosecuted, saying he should be arrested but “may have done a good thing.”

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> o'reilly is the host of the o'reilly factor on fox news and the author of the book kennedy 's last days. good to see you.

>> thank you.

>> let's pick up, edward snowden is he a criminal or is he a whistle blower that deserves the protection of the law.

>> you have to arrest him. he violated u.s. law and he may have done a good thing but a jury's going to have to decide.

>> you arrest him because he violated the law. give me the grey area there.

>> there's no grey area . you can violate the law sometimes and do a good thing but you have to convince the jury why you did what you did and why it was mobile.

>> he says it's important for people to know about the program so they can debate it. the chief of intelligence says he has done severe damage to our national intelligence.

>> i don't know. how can i possibly know? i haven't seen the evidence. we don't even know what the government is doing yet. we know what he says. but we have to see if the government is seizing everybody's e-mail. if the government doing that the government is breaking the law so then this guy becomes a hero but if the government is not doing it and the guy is lying then he's a criminal.

>> from what we heard so far, we know the government is collecting data, they're mining data on the phone call wes make every day, origin, destination and time.

>> right.

>> the government says it's essential to our national security . if the government were to come out and say, you know, we're also listening in on phone calls .

>> against the 4th amendment .

>> but we have proof that it's terrorist attacks . how would you feel about that?

>> unconstitutional. you have to get a specific warrant for a specific phone call or e-mail. you can't say we're protecting everybody so we're going to throw the constitution out the window. that's the key issue.

>> a new poll says they asked meshes about the reaction to the latest leaks. 52% of americans agree that the government should not monitor everyone's e-mail and online activity but 62% of americans think the federal government should investigate possible terrorist threats even if that means intruding on privacy. so clearly people understand that security doesn't come without a price.

>> everybody understands that but you have to have definition and the definition is our constitution. you can't just be seizing mass e-mail, throwing it in utah and say we'll sort it out later. that's the allegation. now sit true? we don't know. and why not? unfortunately the obama administration doesn't tell us anything. so we don't know what they're doing. if they are seizing mass e-mail on their --

>> do you think there's less transparency under this administrations than under past ations. i d't know. maybe but i can't find out anything. can you? i don't know what happened in began si or what happened in the irs or james rosen i don't know what happened with this one and they won't tell us anything.

>> you think those are unrelated stories that can't be tied together or do you think this is a second term in full reverse because of abuses of power.

>> all i know is it is chaos. what day is it? tuesday, now we have hilary clinton running around with an ambassador not doing what he should do. every day it's something else.

>> we'll have a full segment with you in an hour or so on your book like kennedy . when you deal with a subject like jfk . for a group of readers too young to remember jfk or jfk junior, how do you make it relatable to them?

>> pictures. we have stunning pictures in this book called kennedy 's last days. you see the glamour of jfk and jackie and the villain. you have to arrest the children's attention by visuals in the age of the internet. when they get interested in those people they want to know what happened to them.

>> you touched on something in this series of book.

>> i'm in your dressin room? i get to use your dressing room . he don't want anybody in that dressing room .

>> the drawers are locked.